Fūnem Studio | weaving tools and materials
If weaving and pretty materials have your interest, then may we recommend meeting the lovely Fūnem Studio and its founder Jantine. We had a chat with this wonderful designer on how she got started and – along the way – happened to connect weavers from around the globe with her enthusiasm and passion for the art.
Born in The Netherlands 33 years ago, Jantine came to Antwerp to study fashion and gained her degree with a handknot collection using different macramé techniques. After working as a fashion and textiles designer for fashion brands and design studios, the idea to start Fūnem Studio came in 2013. Jantine wanted to learn to weave and could hardly find proper instructions or tools to start. She decided to source materials and share her knowledge and materials with the rest of the world. It would prove to be the exact right timing. Fūnem Studio was right at the start of the growing weaving community on instagram and nowadays connects weavers all over the world.
Being an avid weaver yourself, does this make your approach different?
I see myself as a designer with a big love for everything handmade. Fūnem Studio grew into a fulltime business overnight which left me little time to weave but triggered that other part of my work: curating assortments of tools, fibers and colors for new and experienced weavers to work with. I am always on the hunt for special, well made supplies to mingle into the collection.
We love your clever and original mix of weaving tools and materials. How do you curate the store’s collection?
Purely based on intuition. I see beauty and surprising color combinations everywhere throughout the day and combining that with the hunger to source high quality materials, turns it quickly into combinations that mainly new weavers love to start from. I cherish our returning customers that are purchasing their supplies from us for years but also love to encourage many new weavers every day to explore something new. Receiving a complete kit assembled for you, makes it fun and easy to start.
What is the yarn and design scene like in Antwerp?
In Antwerp, the art of textiles is not very present. The city is still very well known and home for many fashion designers but not specifically for textiles. But the nice thing nowadays is that we are connected with each other so easily, that it almost doesn’t make a difference anymore where you live. It makes my heart jump to see that crafts are gaining more and more attention over the years. So many beautiful techniques are being re-invented and freed from their dusty image.
What do you enjoy doing when not working?
I love to work with my hands. I have 3 kids running around which takes a lot of my time already but still I squeeze in home projects and little renovations. From repainting the walls to restoring vintage pieces of furniture. My dad learned me a lot of woodworking when I was a kid and I still dream of being able to make my own wooden objects and furniture.
What would you dream project be for Fūnem?
My goal is that we can grow it into a platform to connect designers, craftsmen and those who are new to it, even more. We have lots of plans to mix weaving with techniques such as macramé and needle felting and hopefully, one day, I have time to create new work myself again.
What would your number one advise be for someone contemplating starting their own online fiber store?
Bring something that you think is not there yet and do it your own way. There’s a lot available already online so it’s not easy to stand-out, but I believe that showing your own identity is becoming more and more relevant and powerful these days.
How do you engage with your community of makers?
Instagram remains our biggest tool. We regularly post the works of weavers that are using our materials and launch new products. Some artists are already with us from the start and I love showing their work off to the world and reconnect with them every once in a while. It lets us forget about daily routines quickly and connect on a different level with each other.
What will we see next from Fūnem?
Most exciting Needle Felt Kits that I cannot wait for to be ready. The virus outbreak forced us to delay the launch but wait for it, you won’t be disappointed!
When I grew up, I wanted to be …
… A fashion designer
Favorite contemporary artist …
… Jordy Kerwick
Early riser or night owl? …
… Early riser without a doubt
Three essentials we can find in your bag …
… Keys, wallet, planner.
Must read …
… Patti Smith
The future needs …
… slowness, quality, beauty & love
Best local gem in my city …
… Graanmarkt 13, a shop, restaurant & apartment. So serene.
If you weren’t the creative director of Fūnem Studio, you would most probably be …
… a textile artist